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The accident that is in question here is the Bhopal incident. It was one of the world's most serious industrial catastrophes of all times. It was also unique since the problems were only applicable for the Bhopal plant. In the incident, that took place on December 3, 1984, the storage tank 610 had a reaction. This was in the Indian plant, in Bhopal. This caused the release of the valve that was meant for safety to open. This caused the escape of a toxic chemical called methyl isocyanate (MIC). The safety valve was open for about 45-60 minutes causing for more that 30,000 metric tons of the chemical to be released in vapor form. This gas leaked to the surrounding areas which were densely populated.
Safety and Health Impact of the Accident
The occurrence of this accident posed a serious risk to the safety and health of the stakeholders. This chemical is poisonous to the body of any human being. In fact, MIC should not mix with water. This is because it causes an exothermic reaction that can lead to the catastrophe as was witnessed. It has the potential to kill an individual within an extremely short span of time. Therefore, the effects of such a chemical on a densely populated area could be unimaginable. Since it was in the vapor form, people all over the neighborhood inhaled it (Nath Banerjee 1986). Therefore, it caused the death of about 1,500-4,000 people at once. It also injured thousands of other people who became victims just by being neighbors to the plant. This qualified it to be the worst industrial catastrophe in the world.
Legal Aspects of the Accident
This is an accident which could be said to have occurred by poor luck. However, human errors are almost always responsible for the catastrophic accidents that take place every other day. There is a legal aspect in almost every significant accident. Union Carbide had a clear and excellent record on safety. Therefore, the occurrence of such an incident must have had legal aspects. First, the investigation was seriously hindered. This is because most employees declined from the interviews for fear of legal consequences. CBI had also been put in charge of the plant, as well all its records. There was an employee who connected a water hose to the tank (Morehouse 1986). This employee had a legal situation that he had to answer. This is because he was the main cause of the accident. His motives were unknown, but they must have been evil. This is because all the individuals at the plant knew perfectly well that water must not mix with MIC. Therefore, there was a case to answer for an individual. This conclusion restored the respect of Union Carbide in the market.
This is one of the catastrophes which have never been totally comprehended and analyzed. This is because it was caused by combination of many factors. However, it is a fact that it happened as a result of human error. It was an incident that could have been prevented. Apart from an individual who takes all the blame, the other workers should also have been more careful. This is because the chemical they were dealing with was more than dangerous to the public (Chouhan 2004). Therefore, any pressure changes detected should have been clearly analyzed and the cause determined. This was the combined mistake of a number of people. Therefore, the victims deserved full compensation from the company (Fischer 1996).
From the essay above it is clear that there are always numerous uncertainties in reports of serious catastrophes. This is because media sources rush to be the first to come up with a hot and raw story. Therefore, there should be clear investigations which should also be thorough. This is vital for the future of any country in terms of health hazards. This is because it can prevent a repeat of such incidents. This can save lives of millions of people.